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The Old Bell Hotel and Attached Front Area Walls and Railings

A Grade I Listed Building in Malmesbury, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.5848 / 51°35'5"N

Longitude: -2.0992 / 2°5'56"W

OS Eastings: 393225

OS Northings: 187331

OS Grid: ST932873

Mapcode National: GBR 2QZ.Q27

Mapcode Global: VH95S.KFMF

Entry Name: The Old Bell Hotel and Attached Front Area Walls and Railings

Listing Date: 18 January 1949

Last Amended: 19 July 1996

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1269521

English Heritage Legacy ID: 460674

Location: Malmesbury, Wiltshire, SN16

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Malmesbury

Built-Up Area: Malmesbury

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: Malmesbury and Brokenborough

Church of England Diocese: Bristol

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Listing Text


758-1/4/13 (North East side)
18/01/49 The Old Bell Hotel and attached
front area walls and railings
(Formerly Listed as:
(North side)
Bell Hotel)


Abbey Guest House with first-floor hall; cloth mill, now
hotel. Early C13 abbey guest house; late C15/early C16 house
added to E end and rest altered, partly refaced and reroofed;
cloth mill from c1530, roof altered with dormers added C17,
1908 reroofed and extended to W.
Limestone rubble and dressings, rendered front, squared
coursed rubble W range; E cross axial stack with
diagonally-set shafts, central ridge stack with paired
octagonal shafts, and W stack in internal angle with 4
octagonal shafts; stone slate roof with tiled cross-gabled W
PLAN: 4-bay C13 Guest House with central cross-axial stack,
with C16 2-bay E extension, and C20 addition to W end.
EXTERIOR: 2 storeys, attic and basement; 7-window range. The
C17 E range has 2 large gable dormers, with a central early
C18 doorway with architrave and shell hood, and a right-hand
end gable has a rear first-floor 3-light canted oriel with
moulded base and leaded lights. The central range has 3
separate 1908 gabled dormers, with a left-of-centre early C19
Doric doorcase with attached columns, entablature and
segmental arched pediment, with a 6-panel door with overlight;
a large 1908 left-hand porch has paired pilasters to a cornice
and fretwork balustrade with paired urns, round-arched doorway
with double half-glazed doors. Mullion windows, with
ground-floor transoms and reserved chamfers with metal
casements, 2-light windows attic windows to E gables, 3
central dormers have 3-light timber casements, all renewed
1908 except first-floor right-hand end.
1980 W range has a left-hand gabled cross wing with coped
gable and kneelers and finial and a large canted 2-storey bay,
large mullion and transom windows, and a large right-hand
3-light gable dormer. Rear elevation has 3 gable dormers, and
2 first-floor C15 2-light mullion windows with metal
casements. The 1908 range, in Jacobean style, has a rear
half-hipped gable.

INTERIOR: details include a very fine c1220 ground-floor
ashlar fire hood, restored c1980, with on the first floor
above, the moulded jambs with capitals of another C13
incomplete fire-surround; to the right of the lower fireplace
are 2 stone steps of a former winder stair. First-floor
central room has a late C15/early C16 compartmental ceiling
with deeply-moulded beams; roof partly obscured, the C17 E
dormers are cut through large trenched purlins. C20 entrance
to the W extension has black marble shafts to paired round
arches within a semi-circular relieving arch. Late C20 stair.
A fragment of wall painting is reported either side of the
attic fireplace to the central chimney, with red feather and
scroll friezes, possibly part of a larger C13 scheme of wall
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Attached dwarf walls with iron railings
to front areas, and piers with ball finials to W end.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Probably built by Abbot Loring (Abbacy from
1208-1224), on the site of and re-using material from the old
Keep built by Bishop Roger c1130, and demolished in 1216. A
reported vaulted cellar beneath the lounge contains 8 stone
coffins. The ashlar fire hood may be the earliest
domestic-style ground-floor fireplace, served by a flue, in
England. At the time of Dissolution, the house was probably
that referred to as the Steward's Lodging. Bought after the
Dissolution by William Stumpe, (see Abbey House, qv) and used
for cloth mill, though with little alteration.
(Stirling D: Secular medieval buildings in Malmesbury, Wilts,
1150-1547: 1986-: 12; Victoria History of the Counties of
England: Crowley DA: Wiltshire: 1991-: 157).

Listing NGR: ST9323087333

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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